Loving Who They Are

Posted -

 

When I was in high school, my best friend since kindergarten came out to me. He knew where I stood politically and religiously, and I can’t imagine how scary that must have been for him. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised; but I loved that he thought of me as someone important enough to talk to about his sexuality.  Because I recognized that moment was more about him than it was about me and my beliefs, I showed him love. I wanted him to know that there was nothing he could do or say that could break the bonds we had between us since kindergarten.

 

As a Christian, I am called to love people and stand for what the Bible says. While I have my own beliefs and opinions regarding the LGBTQ community, the Bible does not call me to judge. I don’t feel it’s necessary to force my beliefs on someone else, let alone an entire group of people.

 

1 John 3:11 says, “This is what you have heard from the beginning, that we should love each other.”

 

People today constantly preach about peace, love and harmony. Yet I’m continuously surrounded by news that headlines mass murders, violent protests, and hatred, especially within and directed towards the LGBTQ community. From what I see across social media, mine isn't the only heart that's breaking. This hurt is often turned into anger, and people start wondering where to place blame and seek answers.

 

Conservatives and Christians are often persecuted when it comes to anti-gay agendas. Yes, there are pretentious people who wrongfully speak on behalf of an entire group. So yes, there have been loud, conservative Christians who speak out about homosexuality in ways that are disrespectful and, to be honest, hateful. This makes them loud. It doesn’t make them effective.

 

Ironically, this is the exact opposite of what God calls us to do.

 

That is why it hurts me to see the stigma surrounding Christians and conservatives when it comes to the LGBTQ community. We may have our differences on what we believe spiritually and where we stand politically, but in the end, we’re all after the same thing: to love and be loved.

 

Today, the news media dominates with liberal ideals of supporting same-sex marriage and equal rights. There are things that I agree with and there are things I don’t. As you can see, this leaves me in a tough place. I’m told to speak up for what I believe in, develop my own opinions, but be politically correct and make sure to not offend anyone. Why can’t we just be respectful? Supportive? Loving?

 

There’s a happy medium out there, and the quicker we find it, the sooner we band together and tackle real issues. Spreading love to others should not even be an agenda we have to push, it should be habit. People being gay or straight, black or white, male or female, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist- it’s nothing. Looking at who is right in front of you and loving them for the person they are is everything.

 

The issues surrounding the LGBTQ community have the power to divide nations, and it appears our world is already quite fractured. I support and befriend those in the LGBTQ community because I love and respect people, not lifestyles. Our lifestyle choices, religious views and politics tend to evolve and change over time, but the fact that we’re all human remains constant.  And that’s where our love and respect for each other should fundamentally begin and end.

 

About The Author

Sami Shephard is a junior at the University of Alabama studying Advertising and Spanish. Her hobbies include bread, Game of Thrones, and her dog, Phoebe. When she's not in class, she can be found watching romantic comedies, planning her next adventure, or writing another post for her personal blog.